News that right-wing white supremacists attacked a busload of refugees in Finland during the night boosts concerns that right-wing extremists may strike in Norway as well. While there’s been an outpouring of Norwegians welcoming and helping refugees, both Norway’s security police PST and EU officials warned of the ultra right-wing threat.
Tore Bjørgo, a researcher at Norway’s state police academy, told news bureau NTB there is good reason for the concern. “For some right-wing extremist groups, what we’re seeing in the media now is a confirmation of what they fear the most, an uncontrolled wave of immigration,” Bjørgo said. “That can lead to sharper rhetoric and violence.”
Author Øyvind Strømmen, who specializes in following right-wing and anti-jihadist groups in Norway, said uncontrolled immigration can spur extremists into action. “The extreme groups haven’t changed their opinions,” he told NTB. “It’s not unthinkable we can see an extremist backlash.”
State broadcaster NRK reported on Friday, meanwhile, that an agreement struck this week to distribute around 120,000 refugees among various European countries, to relieve the pressure on Italy and Greece, may result in just over 2,000 additional refugees being sent to Norway. Norway is not a member of the EU and thus not obliged to go along with the agreement hammered out among EU countries, but Norwegian government officials said they would take part on a voluntary basis.